Life Life

30/04/2019 - 07:05

From laboratory to market

No longer studies on paper or in the laboratory, more and more produces from research in food technology and post-harvest preservation by scientists in Hue have appeared on the market and are widely favored by consumers.

Customers are choosing fermented bamboo shoot made by experts from College of Agriculture and Forestry, Hue University.

Solving the hard problem in research

It is not hard to find popular produces by scientists in Hue at supermarkets and shopping malls. Ms. Nguyen Thi Thai in Hue City says many people now know and believe in the reputation of those produces. They feel more reassured when scientists have begun to get involved in the time when there is much anxiety about food now.  

Since 2016 now, at least 4 produces and researches on food technology and post-harvest preservation by scientists at College of Agriculture and Forestry, Hue University have been commercialized and accepted by the market, starting with fermented bamboo shoot and other produces from bamboo shoots, lotus tea, turmeric starch, and the research of applying new technology in dried foods by experts at the Department of Engineering and Technology, College of Agriculture and Forestry, Hue University.

These produces are not introduced on the market sporadically, but by means of technology transfer to companies and entrepreneurs. For example, produces from bamboo shoots have been transferred to Hoang Tuan Tung Co. Ltd. in Huong Hoa, Quang Tri and have been produced; turmeric starch to Quang Tri Science and Technology Application Center, (belonging to Quang Tri Science and Technology Bureau.)

 “The cooperation between the university and the entrepreneur is mentioned clearly on the label and some produces have been now present at Big C stores all over the country,” said happily the representative from Engineering and Technology Department, College of Agriculture and Forestry, Hue University.

Turmeric starch, the produce from the research by experts from College of Agriculture and Forestry, Hue University on sale on the market

So far, how to bring produces from scientific researches to consumers is a difficult issue. It is partly because of the limited fund for research; the commercialization of a produce is always a difficulty. Applying new technology requires more fees and that the entrepreneur invest more. Workers and processers must have knowledge of safe food and supervise ingredients. Besides persuading entrepreneurs to get involved, convincing consumers is not always easy, either.

Actually, there have been very intensive academic research in our country, but it requires too much money or it fails to be accepted by consumers. There is always a mismatch between the producer and the consumer. As a result, at universities, the benefits obtained from science and technology is very low. Take Hue University for example, they have never surpassed 5% of the whole income.

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Nguyen Van Toan, Dean of the Engineering and Technology Department, College of Agriculture and Forestry, Hue University is very happy that with the commercialization of their produces, its turnover has risen up to 10-15% and is expected to increase even more in the future.

More opportunities

Scientific research in food technology and post-harvest preservation is of interest now when there is a big demand of produces which are safe and good for health. This means the “door” is now wide open to studies serving the society by scientists in Hue. 

Of course, there are still many challenges for scientists to “dominate” the market. According to Assoc. Prof. Dr. Nguyen Van Toan, research now must be applicable and produces must be different and good for health. In Hue, besides healthy produces originated from medicinal herbs, we need to pay attention to produces made from our specialities such as jam made from thanh tra grapefruit, figs, persimmons in A Luoi, bananas in Nam Dong and A Luoi.

 “Many people in Hue grow and sell fresh thanh tra grapefruit. We are thinking about producing dehydrated thanh tra, thanh tra essential oil, thanh tra drinks, etc. Besides, we will continue with studies about other Hue specialties, making them safe and suitable for people with different tastes from different regions,” stated experts from College of Agriculture and Forestry, Hue University.

Besides convincing the local market, scientists in Hue intend to introduce Vietnamese produces to the world. Assoc. Prof. Dr. Nguyen Van Toan emphasizes Vietnamese fruits and vegetables are very good. If we can preserve them effectively and process them into produces, exporting them is not too difficult. At present, in addition to the transfer of how to preserve avocado for export to a company in Tay Nguyen, experts will continue with other fruits such as dragon fruit, bananas, thanh tra grapefruit and others from Hue to contribute to making Vietnamese specialties a choice for consumers all over the world. 

Story and photos: Huu Phuc

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